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Setting The Mood With Van Life Lighting


3 min read

Now here we are looking at the lights we mounted in a video way back when. It’s called LET THERE BE LIGHT on the channel.

There are three main points for the lighting. The solar power fuse box, the mood lighting plugin, and the switches. The fuse box is below the bed, so we run the wire up behind the cabinet and into the ceiling. Then it comes out in the switch box and goes to the lights.

And it’s time to get wiring.

I grabbed a dimmer switch on amazon, This will control the main LED lights. Be very careful with these radial dials. The one I got specifically is pricey at 30+ dollars and if you wire it wrong it will break instantly. I went through two myself, but that’s not because it shorted, but because I’m an idiot and misplaced it.

Now this is the more confusing wiring. I got this project box online and screwed the back on it onto the bulkhead here. Then drilled a hole for the switches to go in on the cover. It’s best to keep your positive and negative wires the same colors throughout your entire project, and to label where each wire goes to. That’s what the yellow tape is for.

Before I hooked it up to the solar battery, I plugged the wiring into a car battery jumper at 12volts to make sure the switches worked.

The red wire goes out of the fuse box over the light switches, then runs back along the same path to the ground. In between there on the loop back, I inserted the socket plug for the Christmas lights.

I ran another red wire up the same path to the switches, this time onto the radial dial. Then the wire continues up into the ceiling to wire each one of the LED lights. Then it comes back down through the dial again. To complete the circuit the ground wire comes back out and connects to the previous ground.

This animation looked much better in my head.

Here’s a quick reminder of how we wired the lights in the previous video. It’s not that pretty, I know.

And all the wiring comes in and connects to the solar battery fuse box. Use the control panel and make sure the power is flowing to the appliances and you’re good to go.

In the day time of course you don’t need many lights.

But at night is where they shine. The Christmas mood lights are my favorite for setting some romantic ambiance.

And when you want to read or do anything that needs a bit more light, you’ve got the dimmer switch to control the LED lights. Bright as daylight in here and it takes very little power. The lights on at full blast take about 1.2 amps.

Check out the video on the channel called “Block Prying Eyes & Sun with Blackout Curtains #StealthCamping” and you can see how I make sure nobody outside can see the lights at night.

Here’s some interesting facts, the main lights and camera recording don’t mix when not on max. This is because the lights are actually moving at different frequencies. The frequency of the lights on low is unperceived to your eye though the camera recording at a different frames per second will have it come out doing this wave thing.

The big solar video is still to come. That’s where we’re putting all the components together, the inverter, batteries, control panel, fusebox. For that one, I’ve got some nice diagrams and everything. I’m sure it will help.

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